Brad Lidge will be appearing on murals and den walls for the rest of time.
Sep 20, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Brad Lidge (54) delivers to the plate during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals during game one of a doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park. The Nationals defeated the Phillies 4-3 in 10 innings. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Fists in the air, knees on the ground, a delirious Chooch thundering toward him, his mouth somewhere in the middle of screaming “OH MY GOD WE DID IT.” It was the World Series victory that spawned 28 years of restrained celebration, a couple of flaming cars, a pretty bad concussion for this guy, and the idea that Brad Lidge is perfect.
Brad Lidge is not perfect, as we learned in the subsequent three years of his Phillies career. But he achieved for himself a lifetime pass to the city of Philadelphia, going 48-for-48 in save opportunities in 2008, and fetching this town a World Series title.
So it makes sense that he will retire as a Phillie on August 1 at home against the Giants, throwing out first pitch to – he hopes – Carlos Ruiz.
Brad played six years for the Astros, four years for the Phillies (He was pitching for us as recently as September 2011. Why does that sound so recent?), and one part of a year with the Nationals, who brought him in just to turn him around and make him say stuff like this.
He finished up with 225 saves and an accumulated WAR of 7.8. But all of that pales in comparison to that one moment in which he’d answered when the next World Series win would come, and just before we’d start waiting for the next one that wouldn’t.